Journal Article

Glioblastoma stem-like cells: at the root of tumor recurrence and a therapeutic target

Melanie Jackson, Foteini Hassiotou and Anna Nowak

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 36, issue 2, pages 177-185
Published in print February 2015 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online December 2014 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Glioblastoma stem-like cells: at the root of tumor recurrence and a therapeutic target

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  • Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics


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Glioblastoma is the most common and most aggressive primary brain malignancy. The current initial standard of care consists of maximal safe surgical resection followed by radical radiotherapy and adjuvant temozolomide. Despite optimal therapy, median survival is ~15 months from diagnosis in molecularly unselected patients, and <6 months for patients with recurrent disease. Therefore, clinical treatments are currently palliative, not curative. Collectively, current knowledge suggests that the continued tumor growth and recurrence is in part due to the presence of glioma stem-like cells, which display self-renewal and tumorigenic potential. They differ from their more differentiated progeny, as they are more resistant to current treatments. Recurrent disease may be a consequence of the enhancement and/or gain of stem cell-like characteristics during disease progression, together with preferential death of more differentiated tumor cells during treatment, signifying that the cancer stem cell phenotype is a crucial therapeutic target. The limited knowledge of the characteristics of these cells and their response to current clinical treatments warrants intensive investigation with the aim to improve patient survival and/or develop a cure for this disease.

Journal Article.  7577 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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